國際疫苗競賽台灣怎能輸?因這關鍵推出國產疫苗 | Why does Taiwan need to develop its own vaccines?

【看CP學英文】高端疫苗生物製劑股份有限公司於週四公布二期臨床試驗解盲結果良好,並將申請緊急使用授權。

Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. said Thursday that it would seek an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate after its Phase II clinical trials showed promising results.

高端表示二期臨床試驗後受試者皆無明顯不適,安全性佳。

The Taiwan-based biopharmaceutical company explained that its two-dose recombinant protein vaccine had shown no major safety concerns during trials as no participants in the study experienced severe adverse reactions.

根據週四的結果,高端有信心從台灣食品藥物管理署獲得緊急授權,增加了該公司疫苗成為第一個打進市場的國產疫苗可能性。

Based on the results, the company said it is confident in obtaining a EUA application from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (食品藥物管理署), increasing the likelihood its jab will become the first Taiwanese COVID-19 vaccine to reach the market.

但是這個市場到底多大?在僅有2300萬人口的小島上,台灣為什麼需要生產自己的疫苗?答案其實非常簡單:開發我們自己的疫苗是當前最緊急的策略之一,這樣台灣就不需要依賴他人。

But what market? With only 23 million people living in Taiwan, why does Taiwan need to develop its own vaccine? The response is simple: It is a strategic priority to develop our own vaccines so that Taiwan will not depend on others.

為什麼呢?外國媒體Vox近期推出的影片清楚的點出自從疫情爆發以來,世界各地最富有的國家已將大量的資金投入到生產疫苗的競賽中,使得疫情不斷延燒。

Why? A recent video produced by Vox clearly illustrates how the world’s richest countries have poured money into the race for a vaccine since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, making the pandemic last longer as a result.

這些國家已投入將近數十億美元投入這項競賽中,其中如美國政府的疫苗「曲速行動」,該行動被資助在極短時間內將多種COVID-19疫苗投放市場。

Billions of dollars from the world’s richest countries have already poured into the race for vaccine programs such as the US’s Operation Warp Speed funded to bring multiple COVID-19 vaccines on the market in record time.

但有個嚴重的問題是,這些早期階段投資於研究和開發的國家早已買下了2021年的大部分重要醫療用品、材料,使較貧窮的國家需要等上好幾年才能獲得解藥。

The problem is that by investing in research and development at an earlier stage, rich countries have also bought up most of the vital medical supplies for 2021, making poor countries wait sometimes for months and years for life-saving support.

台灣也因為觀察到此現象,已經簽署了從海外購入近2000萬劑的疫苗,包括505萬劑莫德納疫苗,1000萬劑AZ疫苗,以及透過COVAX購買的476萬劑未指定品牌疫苗。

With the same observation in mind, Taiwan has signed contracts to purchase nearly 20 million vaccine doses from overseas, including 5.05 million doses of Moderna, 10 million AstraZeneca, and 4.76 million doses of unspecified brands through the COVAX program.

目前為止,台灣也已獲得72.6萬劑AZ疫苗,同時日本也贈送了124萬劑疫苗和15萬劑的莫德納疫苗。

It has so far received 726,600 doses of AstraZeneca, as well as 1,24 million doses from Japan, and 150,000 doses of Moderna.

台灣政府也已與兩家本地疫苗製造商聯亞生技和高端簽訂合約,共購買1000萬劑的疫苗。這也就是為什麼台灣政府這麼支持國產疫苗品牌:台灣需要自己生產疫苗,以克服國際市場上疫苗的嚴重短缺問題。

The government has also signed contracts with two local vaccine makers, United Biomedical and Medigen, to purchase a total of 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

That’s the reason why the Taiwan government has offered its support for Taiwanese vaccine brands: Taiwan needs to develop its own vaccines to overcome the serious shortage of vaccines in the international market.

蔡英文總統於5月31日表示要有自己的國產疫苗才不需要依賴他人,綜觀而言,她當時的言論並沒有錯。

“It is our strategic priority to develop our own vaccines so that we will not depend on others,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on May 31, and she was right.

COVAX, 一個世界衛生組織聯合另外二個疫苗推廣團體(Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance和 Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) 推出的計劃雖然有些微的幫助,但等這種長期目標實在太慢了,無法在短期內緩解國際疫苗短缺的困境。

The COVAX program co-led by the World Health Organization; Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is underway. But the program’s goal — to get vaccines to lower- and middle-income countries at the same time as rich countries — is too slow to bring relief in the short term.

美國白宮官員也表示5億支疫苗將自8月開始運送,目標是在年底前分發完2億支疫苗。剩餘的3億劑將在2022年上半旬發出。

White House officials said the 500 million vaccines will be shipped starting in August, with the goal of distributing 200 million by the end of the year. The remaining 300 million doses would be shipped in the first half of 2022.

在這期間,台灣需要自救,努力向前推進台灣國產疫苗。

In the meantime, Taiwan must help itself and strive forward with Taiwan-made vaccines.